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A fiercely beautiful novel about one woman's struggle to reclaim a life shattered by betrayal from the 2018 winner of the PEN/ Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.
One night, in the dead of winter, a mysterious stranger arrives in the small Irish town of Cloonoila. Broodingly handsome, worldly, and charismatic, Dr. Vladimir Dragan is a poet, a self-proclaimed holistic healer, and a welcome disruption to the monotony of village life. Before long, the beautiful black-haired Fidelma McBride falls under his spell and, defying the shackles of wedlock and convention, turns to him to cure her of her deepest pains.
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"A remarkable novel.... Extraordinary and unsettling."--James Wood, New Yorker
"[An] extraordinary articulation of the lingering effects of trauma.... In the end, what leaves one in humbled awe of The Little Red Chairs is O'Brien's dexterity, her ability to shift without warning - like life - from romance to horror, from hamlet to hell, from war crimes tribunal to midsummer night's dream. And through it all, she embeds the most perplexing moral challenge ever conceived.... At a time when our best writers are such delightfully showy stylists, O'Brien...practices a darker, more subtle magic. Surprise and transformation lurk in even the smallest details, the most ordinary moments."--Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Boldly imagined and harrowing.... Here, in addition to O'Brien's celebrated gifts of lyricism and mimetic precision, is a new, unsettling fabulist vision that suggests Kafka more than Joyce.... A work of meditation and penance."--Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, "Editors' Choice"
"O'Brien achieves a tone at once mythical and contemporary, archetypal and particularized, and does wonderful things with voice and tense.... The Little Red Chairs has much to recommend it: beautiful writing, immense ambition, a vivid cast of supporting characters, and a rigorous humanitarian ethos."--Priscilla Gilman, Boston Globe
"The great Edna O'Brien has written her masterpiece."--Philip Roth
"One of [O'Brien's] best and most ambitious novels yet. The Little Red Chairs is personal and political; charming and grotesque; a novel of manners and a novel of monsters.... O'Brien's undiminished gifts as a storyteller draw us in and then awaken us to the limits of our own blinkered vision, the fragility of our own safe havens."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR
"The Little Red Chairs is a daring invention set at the bloody crossroads where worlds collide: savage, tender and true."--John Banville
"Edna O'Brien is both brilliant and brave. This book astonished me."--Ann Patchett
"Reading The Little Red Chairs reaffirms a belief I've held since I first read Ms. O'Brien's work: She is, quite simply, a master."--Kevin Powers
"Edna O'Brien's The Little Red Chairs is a gem of a novel, a text to treasure."--Nuruddin Farah
A Sunday Times, Observer, Financial Times and Sunday Express Book of the Year. Shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2016.
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